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My Experience with Class101: It’s awful!

Back in December I saw that an artist I really liked was going to be teaching a class on a site called “Class101.” I had previous experience with these types of sites, using Udemy and hearing of Skillshare, but this was a new one.

So this review is about Class101, a Korean site in which artists or crafters can apply to teach a course to students, usually somewhere like $100-$200 per person to sign up (instructor sets the price). It runs for a set period of time (mine was five months, not sure if this is per course or not), and essentially you watch videos the instructor prepared and do homework assignments that get you closer to earning a Completion status on the class. The instructor is expected to comment on and help students via their homework/comments.

The artist’s colour usage is amazing, so I thought I’d be learning their thoughts on colours and how to use them and I was excited to level up.

Alas, as an intermediate artist, this was the biggest waste of money and I won’t do it again!

First, I want to talk about Class101’s horrible site layout. This site can’t figure out whether it wants to be in Korean or English. When I click something on the English site, it’s a coin toss to see whether the resulting page will take me to a Korean page or not. There are often things that only Korean members can do, like purchase a subscription to the site or buy things with accumulated points from doing homework. Often I’ll get confused in the site since the breadcrumbs are terrible – I’ll often check off that I’m a Global user and not a Korean one, yet it will end up still sending me to Korean pages.

Assignment on painting skin.

Second, what I apparently failed to understand is that this class, and seemingly most of them, actually, are aimed at total beginners. THIS SITE IS NOT FOR INTERMEDIATE ARTISTS!!! If you are an intermediate artist, STOP! DO NOT PASS GO! You will learn nothing. The course – and literally every digital art course on the site – goes over how to use brushes and a particular art program, anime anatomy, character design – things you already know how to do! The goal of the course was to design a character and then make an illustration. Now, as I said I was interested in how the creator chooses colours but there is a singular 6 minute lesson on colours that doesn’t even explain things like colour harmonies or proportions in the illustration. I didn’t really learn anything. In fact this course is seven hours of content but I learned more about art from 1.5 hours of Marco Bucci videos than here.

So that lends itself to the quality of teaching. These classes are expensive – I paid nearly $200 for mine for … a series of video tutorials with information I could just find on pinterest. Many art teachers have mentorship programs of over $500+ per person, but these are small classes, 5-15 people, with hands-on, personal help from the instructor to hone your skills. This class had over 100 people in it, so you can guess the quality of help that was received. Often I’d ask for clarification on how they did a thing which the answer was essentially “intuition and practice,” and when I asked for critique I would get “it looks good.” I didn’t pay you to tell me it looks good, I paid you to help improve my art!!! I would rather pay an esteemed art teacher $1000 to mentor me personally than do one of these classes again.

My final illustration.

The thing about this site is that it has a host of popular artists from social media – a lot of names with big follower counts are on here, but the fact of the matter is: just because you can draw well doesn’t mean you know how to teach. I had a funny feeling that all the digital art courses from popular artists all kinda have the exact same course layout, and sure enough, taking a gander at what you learn in most of the popular digital art courses is: here’s the basics of doing digital art, anatomy tips, how to draw in anime style, bye! You could learn the same things for free on the internet or watching an artist’s stream to understand their style. I saw one of my other favourite artists now on the site as well, and looking at his course I almost had a glimmer of “I love his style, maybe I can learn something?” But no. The course layout IS THE EXACT SAME THING AS THE ONE I JUST TOOK! “How to sketch and plan an illustration” “Anatomy tips” “Character design” NO!!! IT’S THE SAME SHIT!!! EVERY COURSE IS THE SAME THING!!!

You also can’t download any of the videos unless you have the subscription that’s for Korean members only, so once the time limit is up, you can say bye to all the videos unless you recorded them with a third-party program. Granted, Class101 is kind of generous on this and lets you extend the class time for free by just participating in it (you accumulate points for doing homework and participating in the community, and you can use the points to extend the class). But paying $200 to not download anything! Even Proko lets you download videos.

Near the end of it, the instructor was taking a long time to reply, and eventually they just up and vanished and haven’t replied to anyone in a month. So it’s pretty disappointing.

I’ve heard some other peoples’ instructors actually work with them and redline their homework, which sounds really nice. That wasn’t my instructor though. So in combination of the horrible class layout, the expensive price and the instructor being not very good at teaching, I can’t recommend Class101 to anyone unless the instructor of the course is really working with students. Otherwise you can learn the same information presented in the course either from free tutorials online or just experimenting on your own. I guess if you have expendable cash and are a total beginner it could be worth your time, but as an intermediate artist who gets guilty buying $15 of fast food, nah, never again.

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